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Beck now ready to make plays

Daily Pilot High School Football Player of the Week

The junior receiver/safety admits to being tentative last year. But that's no longer the case, as his key plays have helped Estancia this season.

October 05, 2011|By David Carrillo Penaloza
(Kevin Chang / Daily…)

Ben Beck has been waiting for Thursday's high school football game all year, Estancia versus Beckman. The last time Beck faced the Patriots, he admits he went in scared.

As a sophomore last year, Coach Mike Bargas called Beck's number at halftime. This was no ordinary game. It was the first round of the CIF Southern Section Southern Division playoffs.

Going into the second half the Eagles trailed big, 42-14, at home. Going into the second half was Beck for an injured safety.

The last line of defense was Beck.

"At first, it was pretty difficult," Beck said of having to adjust to a faster tempo, compared to the junior varsity level in which he spent most of the season as a starter. "I was just getting into the defense and there's a lot to do on defense. I just had to stay back. Their receivers were really big and good. I was a little sophomore."

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Beck and the Eagles felt small that night, as they lost, 56-22. The setback was the program's 10th straight in the postseason.

Estancia (3-1), ranked No. 6, gets a shot at home against No. 2 Beckman (2-2) again.

The team expects a much closer game than last year's pounding Beckman handed out before the Patriots made it to the section final. The Patriots hammered the Eagles twice that season, the first time in a 31-0 nonleague win.

The reason why Beck and his teammates are more confident this time around stems from their 43-27 upset of then-No. 3 Northwood last week. Beck lifted his team with stellar play at wide receiver and free safety.

The junior set up the game's first score by returning an interception 46 yards. Six plays later, Beck rose to the occasion again. He beat a defensive back for a ball near the goal line and scored on a 22-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Brad Wilson.

The catch was one of seven by Beck, who finished with 89 yards receiving, but it wasn't his best. Midway through the third quarter, on third-and-14, he made a one-handed grab in traffic for a 25-yard gain.

The Eagles were on their way to snapping a 15-game losing streak to teams from the Pacific Coast League. They now want to start a winning streak against that league.

"Now that we proved that we could beat Northwood, it's anybody's game now, because Beckman is in [the Timberwolves'] league and [the Patriots] lost to them [17-0] last year," said Beck, who has 17 catches for 294 yards and five touchdowns, three of those scores came in the season opener in which he also returned a punt for a touchdown.

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